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Sebring CTSC Weekend Notebook

John Dagys’ Continental Tire Challenge notebook from Sebring…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***The grid for Friday’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race has expanded by one from the initial entry list, with Muehlner Motorsports having added its No. 21 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport for Jeroen Bleekemolen and Dennis Trebing.

***As a result, five of the ten entries in GS are now Cayman GT4s, including the arrival of the second CJ Wilson Racing entry for Tyler McQuarrie and Till Bechtolsheimer.

***While Bechtolsheimer is confirmed for six of the nine remaining races in the No. 35 CJWR entry, the team is hoping to run its second Cayman GT4 for the rest of the season, with McQuarrie at the wheel. A team spokesperson said interest in the program has risen dramatically since its switch to the Clubsport.

***The ST class pole-sitting No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i of Tyler Cooke and James Clay rebounded from a fire during Thursday’s Promoter Test Day, which forced the team to replace the car’s electronics and other components. Cooke’s only other Continental Tire Challenge pole came at Road America last year, a race which he had won.

***Overall pole-sitter Scott Maxwell feels the influx of Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsports could have the advantage in Friday’s race. “This is probably the hardest track in the series to find a happy place for the car,” Maxwell said. “We’re lugging around a lot of extra weight with the Mustang. We found a nice sweet spot on sticker tires. Whether that plays out for two-and-a-half hours, we’ll find out.”

***Rebel Rock Racing co-owners Jim Jonsin and Frank DePew have teamed up in their Porsche 997 this weekend, marking the organization’s return to the GS class. It corresponds with the debut of the “Rock the Grid” concert on Friday, a brainchild of Jonsin, a renowned music producer.

***The team’s ST class No. 7 Porsche Cayman, meanwhile, sees the Continental Tire Challenge debut of Sam Adams. The 17-year-old from Alberta, Canada, who finished runner-up in last year’s Skip Barber Pro Series, is joined by GT veteran Ian James.

***Billy Johnson, who along with Maxwell head into Sebring as GS points leaders, will make his debut in the 24 Hours of Le Mans this year, having been confirmed in the four-car Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT lineup earlier this week.

***A total of eight drivers will pull double duty between the Continental Tire Challenge race and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring this weekend. Marc Miller, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Al Carter will race in GS and GTD, while Robin Liddell, Ian James, Spencer Pumpelly and Corey Lewis will race in ST and GTD. Cameron Lawrence, meanwhile, will race in ST and Prototype.

***Continental Tire has brought roughly 5,350 total tires (3,575 slicks and 1,775 wets) to Sebring to accommodate both the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire Challenge this weekend.

***Be sure to download Andy Blackmore’s Spotter Guide for IMSA, which includes Continental Tire Challenge. Click Here to download.

***Friday’s Sebring 150 will be streamed live at IMSA.TV, with IMSA Radio providing live radio coverage, beginning at 12:20 p.m. ET. TV coverage airs March 27 at 12:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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